Who is responsible for safeguarding our children?

Part 1: INTERVIEWS from Pestalozzi Zambia.

Mwinji Nachemba, our Pastoral Officer in Zambia.

The Pastoral Officer is an incredibly important role within our Pestalozzi villages. They are responsible for the wellbeing and safeguarding of all the children in our care.

Mwinji, makes sure that our children’s needs are fully catered for, that no child is ever lacking and that every child is protected and safeguarded.

She also manages the children’s leisure activities, particularly at the weekends, so that they take time away from their school work, to make sure that their mental health is protected and nurtured.
Mwinji, also focuses on them developing practical life skills, so that they have these skills to full back on if they ever need them. This is part of our Pestalozzi approach to learning, which means learning from the Head, Heart and Hands. (Practical life skills coming under Hands).

Listen to her interview here or read her interview below:

“My name is Mwinji Nachemba I am a Pastoral officer here at Pestalozzi world village in Ibex.

I have a social work degree; I am a social worker by Profession from Mulungushi university.

My roles and duties are: firstly, child safeguarding. Making sure that all children are protected from all sorts of abuse. I carry out trainings for every member of staff here. These trainings happen at the beginning of every year, so that staff and every child knows that they are protected. Further, if they’re facing any form of abuse they know the channel in which such matters would be reported. 

I’m also a counsellor, I handle all the counselling issues with the children and staff included. Besides being a counsellor, I also facilitate children’s extracurricular activities. Especially on weekends, we do a lot of activities as children do not go to school. These activities include, sports (soccer) drama, poetry and this is done so that children get away from books and just have fun for the weekend. 

Furthermore, we also have skills. Besides the children going to school, we believe in our ethos of the Head, Heart and Hands, and therefore, for the hands we provide skills for the children.  The reasons we involve students in skills are that, as we send our children out into society they have a way to start their lives with the skills.  These skills include, gardening, poultry, baking, crafts, and entrepreneurship skills. 

Basically that is my role here, but, my major role is counselling, making sure the welfare of the children in the village is okay.  That no child is lacking anything and every child is protected and safeguarded. 

The most challenging part of my job is that I have to make sure that each and every child is okay. I have to pay particular attention to each and every child.  Their needs, their wants I have to give them an ear. Whatever they may need I have to be there, and so that is the most challenging thing. I still manage despite it being a challenge. 

I chose to do Social Work because, first of all; I have a heart for people and I just wanted to be a change agent to the country. Helping sort out major issues in the country and just be with children, be with families in poverty and be able to help, basically, be a change agent. 

The most rewarding part of my job, I feel is me being able to see children transform and be better. Even as they finish school, I know they we are sending out the best children to represent Pestalozzi.

For more information about where we work and our villages click here

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